Last week I was watching Nigella Lawson cook on TV, and she made a delicious looking chicken curry, muttar paneer, and something else that I don’t remember. I was mostly sucked in by the muttar paneer, because I love peas. So I wanted to build a dinner around it.
I had made a chicken curry just a week or so ago, so I wanted something different. I decided that I’d rather make a shrimp curry, sort of like the seafood tikka masala we had a few weeks ago at a local restaurant. This was truly delicious. I might try a fish tikka masala next time, but this was really, really easy, and really, really good. I found the recipe here.
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1/2 sweet onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can chopped tomatoes
- 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound cooked and peeled shrimp
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat; cook the onion in the hot oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and allow it to cool slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, paprika, and chili powder to the onion and stir over low heat. Pour the tomatoes and coconut milk into the skillet; season with salt. Cook the mixture at a simmer, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir the shrimp, fresh cilantro, and dried cilantro into the sauce mixture; cook another 1 minute before serving.
In case you didn’t know, muttar paneer is an Indian dish of peas and a fried cheese that’s fairly solid, more like a tofu consistency. I like it in restaurants, but I was more interested in the peas than the cheese, so I decided to follow the recipe, but just for the peas, sans cheese. The recipe is here.
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 8 ounces paneer, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 onion, halved
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1-inch piece ginger, roughly chopped
- Sprinkling of salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 (10-ounce) packets frozen peas
- 1 teaspoon tomato puree
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- Heat the oil a large skillet and add the paneer cubes, in 2 batches, and fry until they are golden. Remove the golden cubes to a double thickness of kitchen towel. (It is possible to dry fry the paneer cubes in the pan with no oil, to avoid the oil splashing you. Then continue with the recipe below.)Pour all but about 2 tablespoons of the oil out of the pan. Put the onion, garlic cloves, and ginger into a food processor and blitz to a coarse pulp. Fry gently for about 5 minutes with a sprinkling of salt. Stir in the garam masala and turmeric and cook for another 2 minutes before adding the still frozen peas.
Dissolve the tomato puree in the vegetable stock and pour over the contents of the pan. Stir again and turn the heat down to low, cover with foil or a lid and cook for 15 minutes, tasting to check that the peas are tender. You can cook muttar paneer up to this stage, if you like, uncovering and then reheating gently with the diced, oil-crisped cheese, or proceed directly now.
In which case, take off the foil and add the paneer cubes to warm them through before serving.
Result? A really yummy meal. It was delicious. I think we’ll make it again. And actually, I think I might try the chicken dish Nigella made as well, one day soon.